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Front Genet. 2013 May 8;4:65. doi: 10.3389/fgene.2013.00065. eCollection 2013.

Genome-wide association study of personality traits in the long life family study.

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  • 1Department of Biostatistics, Boston University School of Public Health Boston, MA, USA.

Abstract

Personality traits have been shown to be associated with longevity and healthy aging. In order to discover novel genetic modifiers associated with personality traits as related with longevity, we performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) on personality factors assessed by NEO-five-factor inventory in individuals enrolled in the Long Life Family Study (LLFS), a study of 583 families (N up to 4595) with clustering for longevity in the United States and Denmark. Three SNPs, in almost perfect LD, associated with agreeableness reached genome-wide significance (p < 10(-8)) and replicated in an additional sample of 1279 LLFS subjects, although one (rs9650241) failed to replicate and the other two were not available in two independent replication cohorts, the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging and the New England Centenarian Study. Based on 10,000,000 permutations, the empirical p-value of 2 × 10(-7) was observed for the genome-wide significant SNPs. Seventeen SNPs that reached marginal statistical significance in the two previous GWASs (p-value <10(-4) and 10(-5)), were also marginally significantly associated in this study (p-value <0.05), although none of the associations passed the Bonferroni correction. In addition, we tested age-by-SNP interactions and found some significant associations. Since scores of personality traits in LLFS subjects change in the oldest ages, and genetic factors outweigh environmental factors to achieve extreme ages, these age-by-SNP interactions could be a proxy for complex gene-gene interactions affecting personality traits and longevity.

KEYWORDS:

GWAS; family study; gene-environment interaction; longevity; neo scores

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